The Shadow of a Shadow at The Old Brompton Gallery

That Shadow of a Shadow at The Old Brompton Gallery
The artists’ collective Male Intensive Enquiry Unit (Male IEU) present work drawn from life for their inaugural exhibition.
I enjoyed this exhibition, the freshness of the artists’ various views was striking, the media modern and the diversity of scale of work exercised the eye, from Ali Zaidi’s intimate miniatures “Receive”, “Consent” and “Give”, to Graeme Messer’s life-size work “I’m here” which dominated the gallery space and in front of which he gave a live performance in matching grey hoodie and trackies. In some way the easiest work to approach - making the connection between Leonardo da Vinci’s “L’Uomo Vitruviano” (c. 1490) and a crucifixion - his performance emphasised (paradoxically) the humility of the artist in front of his own portrait, ie the shadow of the shadow.

Richard Dickson showed a number of intriguing pieces in Indian ink on paper; his technique contrasts an outline of a human form - in very fine white line drafted with a sculptor’s eye for depth - against backgrounds that are convincing in the way that stage scenery backdrops are convincing. This ambiguity in the texture of the image raises questions about what is solid and what is distance.
Jonathan Armour led the way again with a firm conceptual basis for his pieces. Apparently still “sketches” for a larger work he has yet to show, he is drawing on the unusual topological properties of Klein bottles, described as closed, non-orientable, boundary-free manifolds. A Mobius strip is a related topological curiosity. Jon’s works are impressions of the human form as Klein bottles, executed in charcoal on paper. He showed three initial studies, quite abstract, then two further, which are more clearly derived from the human form.
The gallery was pleasingly full for the viewing, the window display is provocative and Earls Court has a long association with Male Art and buyers of the same; I hope some will pass by The Old Brompton Gallery to enjoy this exhibition, which continues to Sunday 1st July. Opposite Coleherne Court.

That Shadow of a Shadow
A contemporary scrutiny of the body through drawing from life
at The Old Brompton Gallery until Sunday 1st July 2018.

The artists of The Male Intensive Enquiry Unit (Male IEU)
Jonathan Armour
Brian Dennis
Richard Dickson
Graeme Messer
Georg Meyer Wiel
Ali Zaidi